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Help with computer problem
Old 01-28-2006, 01:16 PM   #1
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Help with computer problem

I know this message shouldn't go here, but I need to get some answers right away if possible. I remember reading on this site about a computer board that you can log onto for help with computer problems. I am in a real fix and need to try and get some (guessing - missing Windows XP files restored without having to format my hard drive) I am unable to save any of my information, so I can't format the dirive. My search function won't work and I can't do a system restore (there is nothing there) The only disk that came with the computer that has Windows XP on in, will just re-format my drive, and I will lose everything. Any program out there that can buy that will replace missing or corrupted Windows files, or can you direct me to the Computer Board that some of you use?
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Re: Help with computer problem
Old 01-28-2006, 01:42 PM   #2
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Re: Help with computer problem

Can you get onto windowsupdate.com and upgrade to the newest service pack? It worked once for me for a pc that was completely messed up...lots of missing files from (I guess) a virus, and once I updated to the newest service pack all the problems were solved...just a thought.
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Re: Help with computer problem
Old 01-28-2006, 01:45 PM   #3
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Re: Help with computer problem

Are you able to get into windows at all (safe mode even?)

If you can get in via safe mode, try using the system restore feature in WinXP, and roll back to an earlier date. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't depending on what exactly caused the files to be deleted/corrupted.
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Re: Help with computer problem
Old 01-28-2006, 02:02 PM   #4
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Re: Help with computer problem

There are countless things you could try, but if you aren't up for that, and you need the files quickly, and you have the Windows XP OS disk handy, go buy yourself a hard drive for $80 and install a fresh copy on it, get the system up and running, connect your old disk as a slave drive, and copy (as opposed to cut - let's get your first backup here) the files to the new drive. Should take you a few hours from driving to your local store to copying data. Then you should think abot a DVD burner for future backups. Hard drives are just too cheap to spend hours restoring a system that will probably still be unstable anyway, IMHO.

P.S., a cable router with built in firewall, some anti-spyware programs and some free ware antivirus won't set you back much further....spybot, ewido, are good and free, just to name two.
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Re: Help with computer problem
Old 01-28-2006, 02:48 PM   #5
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Re: Help with computer problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence
There are countless things you could try, but if you aren't up for that, and you need the files quickly, and you have the Windows XP OS disk handy, go buy yourself a hard drive for $80 and install a fresh copy on it, get the system up and running, connect your old disk as a slave drive, and copy (as opposed to cut - let's get your first backup here) the files to the new drive.* Should take you a few hours from driving to your local store to copying data.* Then you should think abot a DVD burner for future backups.* Hard drives are just too cheap to spend hours restoring a system that will probably still be unstable anyway, IMHO.
Not a bad idea, although external USB drives are pretty cheap, and most computers these days are able to boot from them as well, so if you don't feel comfortable opening up your case, and changing HDD jumpers, you might try an external drive first. Also, if your internal drive was formatted with NTFS, you may need to take ownership of everything on your old drive in order to access it. Google for how to do this. This is one reason why EFS makes me nervous...
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Re: Help with computer problem
Old 01-28-2006, 02:55 PM   #6
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Re: Help with computer problem

Or about as cheap, borrow or buy a real windows XP boot cd from a store, boot it and take the Repair option. Thats always worked for me no matter how hosed the machine was. My brother in law brought me his Dell machine last year; his two teenaged daughters had been clicking on every "free" download they could find for about six months. There was about a thousand pieces of spyware and viri on the poor thing. It took 15 minutes to boot (for a p4 2.8GHz system) and opening internet explorer resulted in about 30 windows opening up. After the viruses ate Norton a couple of times, I did the reboot and repair, then ran the virus scan and spyware scan on the system. Perfect.

If you know someone with a disk, borrow it. Only unique thing is the key code on the wrapper, which you should have from your machine.
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Re: Help with computer problem
Old 01-28-2006, 03:12 PM   #7
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Re: Help with computer problem

OEM keys won't work with the retail disk, and vice versa, so make sure you get the right kind of disk of you chose this option.
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Re: Help with computer problem
Old 01-28-2006, 03:42 PM   #8
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Re: Help with computer problem

I had a problem with XP recently. It wouldn't boot after upgrading some software. The fix was to just boot into safe mode then boot again normally. Somehow going into safe mode got windows going enough that it was able to fix whatever corruption was in the file system.

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Re: Help with computer problem
Old 01-28-2006, 03:45 PM   #9
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Re: Help with computer problem

Nice avatar dry socks... I love calvin & hobbes. Too bad Waterson quit
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Re: Help with computer problem
Old 01-28-2006, 03:57 PM   #10
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Re: Help with computer problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshac
Nice avatar dry socks... I love calvin & hobbes. Too bad Waterson quit
Yea, Calvin is great. My kids also love those cartoons. I hope they don't get any ideas
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Re: Help with computer problem
Old 01-28-2006, 05:50 PM   #11
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Re: Help with computer problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshac
OEM keys won't work with the retail disk, and vice versa, so make sure you get the right kind of disk of you chose this option.
Weird...I've done a repair and re-install using both OEM and regular keys and the opposite disk for both with home and pro. Never had a problem. Maybe this is only for clean re-installs? Or maybe it was put in place at some point (my disks are old, old, old).
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Re: Help with computer problem
Old 01-28-2006, 07:25 PM   #12
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Re: Help with computer problem

If you run into this in the future, you can reburn any WinXP install CD into whatever flavor you have keys for (OEM, Retail, Corp.)

http://www.freepctech.com/pc/xp/xp00066.shtml

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Re: Help with computer problem
Old 01-28-2006, 09:32 PM   #13
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Re: Help with computer problem

Cool deal...thanks for the tip. A problem I wouldnt have anticipated waiting to slap me upside the head...
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Re: Help with computer problem
Old 01-29-2006, 08:47 AM   #14
 
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Re: Help with computer problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshac
Not a bad idea, although external USB drives are pretty cheap, and most computers these days are able to boot from them as well, so if you don't feel comfortable opening up your case, and changing HDD jumpers, you might try an external drive first. Also, if your internal drive was formatted with NTFS, you may need to take ownership of everything on your old drive in order to access it. Google for how to do this. This is one reason why EFS makes me nervous...
Marshac,

What software do you use to clone the hard drive to the external drive? Also, what do you do to to get it to boot from the external drive?

Also, I did not understand what you said about taking ownership of everything on your old hard drive.
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Re: Help with computer problem
Old 01-29-2006, 03:33 PM   #15
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Re: Help with computer problem

I was just following up on Laurence's suggestion of copying over the important files to the new HDD, not actually creating a clone of the old drive. When I do create disk images, I use Ghost.

NTFS, like FAT32, stores file data, but unlike FAT32, also stores access permissions as well. These permissions determine which users/groups may read/write/modify/delete/etc the files stored on the drive. By reinstalling the OS, you no longer have the accounts associated with those permissions (even if the account names are the same, they have different SIDs). This can cause problems, especially if one doesn't use privileged accounts (admin) for casual usage.... files that you should have access to will tell you 'permission denied', etc.

Here is how to take ownership of stuff in WinXP. As an aside, if you set up a home network, and your server has a NTFS formatted drive, you will need to not only set up permissions for the folders you want to share, but will also have to configure the NTFS permissions for the shared folders/files as well.

I hate this stuff. I can't wait for med school* :P
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Re: Help with computer problem
Old 01-29-2006, 03:47 PM   #16
 
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Re: Help with computer problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshac
I was just following up on Laurence's suggestion of copying over the important files to the new HDD, not actually creating a clone of the old drive. When I do create disk images, I use Ghost.

NTFS, like FAT32, stores file data, but unlike FAT32, also stores access permissions as well. These permissions determine which users/groups may read/write/modify/delete/etc the files stored on the drive. By reinstalling the OS, you no longer have the accounts associated with those permissions (even if the account names are the same, they have different SIDs). This can cause problems, especially if one doesn't use privileged accounts (admin) for casual usage.... files that you should have access to will tell you 'permission denied', etc.

Here is how to take ownership of stuff in WinXP. As an aside, if you set up a home network, and your server has a NTFS formatted drive, you will need to not only set up permissions for the folders you want to share, but will also have to configure the NTFS permissions for the shared folders/files as well.

I hate this stuff. I can't wait for med school :P
Thanks for the info. I'm not sure Medical School would be that much better, at least there is a solution to computer problems. I have never had a Medical Doctor solve any problem that I have ever had. Example: Go to a doctor and tell him you'd like a wart removed.
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Re: Help with computer problem
Old 01-31-2006, 06:15 PM   #17
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Re: Help with computer problem

try using a live cd like knoppix, you can download it for free. It is basically a linux operating system on a cd. Just change your boot order in your BIOS, so that it will boot your cd-rom first. Once it boots, you can read off of your hard drive and save files to disks.

http://www.knoppix.org/

you can try this also, I personally have never used, it is basicall the same thing but in a windows enviroment

http://www.ubcd4win.com/index.htm

Also if you can get a copy of an original windows XP disk, you can make a copy of it(there is no encryption on them, you verify with the serial which came on your disk or on a microsoft sticker on the back of the PC), and use that instead of the factory one that will only format the disk. Use the original or copied one and boot that. Once in there there should be an option to repair a previously installed windows. Select this option and it will repair your windows and will leave the rest of your info alone.

Here is a link to a good forum and they should be able to help you also.

http://www.ocforums.com/forumdisplay.php?f=17

Also if you do a lot of reinstalls of windows you might want to slipstream a windows cd. This is basically the windows installation cd with service pack 2 installed on it, so you don't have to do windows update right off the bat.

http://www.helpwithwindows.com/windo...p2-bootcd.html

http://www.ocforums.com/showthread.php?t=325065


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Re: Help with computer problem
Old 01-31-2006, 08:16 PM   #18
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Re: Help with computer problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dry Socks
I had a problem with XP recently. It wouldn't boot after upgrading some software. The fix was to just boot into safe mode then boot again normally. Somehow going into safe mode got windows going enough that it was able to fix whatever corruption was in the file system.
Follow up...
It did it again so I ran SpinRite from Gibson Research (www.grc.com). It's working now and all my fingers are crossed.

A couple years ago I had the same problem and was planning to get a new drive. SpinRite fixed that one too.
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Re: Help with computer problem
Old 01-31-2006, 08:54 PM   #19
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Re: Help with computer problem

I use their "Shields Up!" service all the time to check my firewall settings
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Re: Help with computer problem
Old 01-31-2006, 11:19 PM   #20
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Re: Help with computer problem

If Steve Gibson was selling shares I'd buy enough for a board seat. Great products.
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